In Japan, the home country of origin, the Akita is revered as a loyal companion and one of the seven breeds designated as a national monument. The dog is so revered at one time this beautiful and loyal dog’s ownerships was restricted to the Imperial family and the ruling aristocracy. The Akita has a spiritual significance attached to them in Japan, as well. Every time a child is born, the family receives a small stature of the Akita indication of health, happiness, and a long life.
We see the Akita as a beautiful, majestic, large, powerful dog, which is the largest of the Japanese Spitz-type breeds. The colors of the Akita are brilliant and can be pure white, red, sesame, pinto, or brindle. They can have a mask or not and the undercoat may be a different color than the outer coat. The outer coat is waterproof which keeps them dry and comfortable. The white Akita’s do not have a mask. The pinto colored normally have a white background with patches covering their head and usually one third of their body. The undercoat is thick, dense, and soft with a shorter outer coat. The outer coat is usually straight and harsh which stand slightly off their body. The hair on their head, legs, and ears are also short. The tail has long plentiful hair.
The Akita is known to be an excellent guard dog; however, he does have a tendency to bite. It is best to never leave him alone with young children or even other dogs as he prefers to be the dominate one of the group. Proper training at a young age can improve this behavior.
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The male Akita height is around 26 to 28 inches and weighs 75 to 120 pounds while the females average 24 to 26 inches with a weight of 75 to 110 pounds.
The Akita is a bit longer than his height with a wide, deep chest, and a level back. Their head is also wide and shaped similar to a triangle with a blunt end. The well-defined stop is prominent with a shallow grove that extends up the center of their forehead. Their ears are small, slightly rounded at tip, and stand slightly forward to be in line with their neck. The Akita has small, triangular dark brown eyes with a black or brown nose. The lips are black with a pink tongue. The teeth should meet in a level or scissor bit. The tail is bushy and is carried over their back in a curl.
Unlike most dogs, the Akita has feet that are similar to that of a cat in that they are webbed, which makes them great swimmers, unlike the cat.
The color of their coat as mentioned above does differ from Japan and the United States. In Japan, the only accepted colors are Red Fawn, Sesame (red fawn hairs with black tips), Brindle, and White. Except for the white Akita’s the rest must have whitish hair on the sides of their neck, chest, body, tail, cheeks, and muzzle. The pinto color is not accepted in Japan as it in the US. The American Akita tends to be heavier, larger, shorter in fur, and allows more colors, than the original Japanese Akita. However, both breeds are acknowledged by the American Kennel Club.
The Akita is passive, but can be impulsive at times. The Akita is known to be very intelligent, brave, and daring. He will need firm training as a puppy as he can be a bit aggressive to other animals; he wants to be the more dominant animal in the home. He may be okay around children as he is very tolerate, however, as stated before he does have the tendency to bite especially when teased or pestered. While he is eating, you should ensure small children do not bother him, as he is very possessive over his food.
The Akita is a very loyal dog, which will protect his family against any type of intruder or danger. He needs love and attention with the desire to belong.
The Akita can do well in an apartment if he has a way to exercise. He will do much better if he has a medium sized yard in which to romp and play.
He will require regular exercise, to ensure he lives a long and healthy life. Their life expectancy is around 10 to 12 years with proper care, food, and enough exercise.
The Akita will require significant grooming for their coat. You should use a firm, bristle brush every day to keep the coat looking great. Be prepared for the Akita to shed heavily twice per year.
Bathing is not recommended as too much bathing can remove the natural waterproofing of the outer coat.
The Akita are very clean very easy to housebreak. Many people have described them as being “cat-like,” as they are clean and odorless.
The Akita calls the island of Honshu in the region of Akita, Japan home. This is where the Akita was original used as a fighting dog during the Edo Period. However, the Akita has had many purposes such as Imperial guard dog, guard dog for home and farm, hunters of deer and bear, used for sledding, and has been used in the military, worked with police and in guard dog positions other than domestically.
While he was in Japan, many mothers would leave the Akita to guard her children while she worked, hunters used them as retrievers since their mouths are small enough for waterfowl retrieval.
Today, in Japan, the Akita is one of the national dogs and is designated as a Natural Monument, is given to families at the birth of a child as a symbolic gesture of health, happiness, and a long life, and given to person that are sick for the desire of a speedy recovery. The Akita are still looked upon affectionately and regarded as loyal companions, pets, guardian of the home, and a symbol of good health.
Helen Keller was the first person to bring an Akita into the United States, however, during World War II many service members brought them home to their families. The military personnel feel in love with the dog’s noble stature, intelligence, and their ability to adapt to different situations.
The Akita Club of America was created in 1956. The American Kennel Club Stud Book admitted the breed in October 1972. The Akita was admitted to the regular show classification in the Working Group starting on April 4, 1973.